Chaponda’s maizegate case back in court

The High Court in Zomba on Monday reserved its ruling to Tuesday, on whether former Cabinet Minister George Chaponda has a case to answer or not in relation to the maizegate scandal.

Chaponda is facing two charges of giving false information to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and being found in possession of foreign currency without license.

This follows an appeal by ACB against a ruling by Chief Resident Magistrate Paul Chiotcha who acquitted Chaponda of all the three counts he was charged with for lacking elements of corruption.

ACB, lead lawyer, Imran Saidi said among others, their grounds for appeal include but not limited to Chaponda’s failure to account for K95 million which was found in his house on top of some foreign currencies.

In his remarks, defense lawyer Tamando Chokhotho said he is surprised that ACB is bringing in issues which are not relevant to the case at hand.

Chaponda is accused of illegal actions in the procurement of 100,000 tons of maize from Zambia through Malawi’s grain marketer, the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (ADMARC) in 2016.

ADMARC reportedly bought maize at U.S.$34,5 million from a Zambian company instead of buying it at U.S.$21.5 million directly from the Zambian government.

In February 2017, President Peter Mutharika fired Chaponda as Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development after investigators found nearly $200,000 in cash in the minister’s home.

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